New York, US (PANA) - A UN report on Friday said that women
continued to reap less benefits from employment in agriculture
than men in rural areas and the recent global financial and food
crises had slowed down progress towards gender equality in
The report was jointly compiled by the UN Food and Agriculture
Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural
Development (IFAD) and the International Labour Organization
The agencies noted that women face discrimination that
limits both their economic productivity and their personal
The report, which is entitled “Gender dimensions of agricultural
and rural employment: Differentiated pathways out of poverty”,
states that women need access to education, training, credit,
markets, technical assistance and labour protection.
“They also need equal, secure access to land and other
assets and 'social capital', including the ability to participate
equally in farmers’ organizations,'' it said.
It also said that with access to the advantages that were
available to men, women could increase their contribution to
national development and poverty reduction.
“Given that 70 per cent of the
developing world’s 1.4 billion extremely poor people live in
rural areas, raising rural women’s economic participation is
crucial for achievement of the Millennium Development
“It is interesting to observe that 90 per cent
of the wage gap between men and women in developed or
developing counties is unexplained; in other words, it is
attributed to gender discrimination.
“With job losses and cuts in spending on social services and
infrastructure, women’s care burdens and unpaid work have
intensified, and their financial contribution to household food
security is likely to decrease.”
The report further said that the enormous economic contribution
of women’s unpaid work must be recognized and measures
implemented to reduce and redistribute the burden of housework
in order to reap better rewards for women.
Public works programmes can support gender equality in rural
employment, especially if beneficiaries are genuinely involved in
designing them, it noted.
It also added that promoting quality female education in rural
areas and reducing gender gaps in primary and secondary
schooling could improve women’s access to decent employment.
The report recommended policy measures to address the many
gender differences in rural employment.
They include legal reforms that promote gender equality, social
safety nets, assistance to organizations supporting farmers,
women and youth, child care programmes, education and better
access to information and labour markets.
-0- PANA AA/MA 21Jan2011